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What Can You Do About Same-Sex Attraction?

Man-03SummaryThis section guides you through the process of making decisions about how to respond to same-sex attraction, then discusses specific issues that you may need to work on. Each section provides practical help and resources.

Before proceeding with this section, we recommend you read the following sections to have a solid understanding of the issues:

With this basic understanding your same-sex attractions, you are ready to make conscious lifestyle choices about what to do.

Many people who experience same-sex attraction seek to live their lives in harmony with traditional religious values. As you decide how to respond to same-sex attractions, you will have to make choices according to your personal values and life situation. For example, you may ask yourself questions such as those that follow.

  • Do you identify yourself as a son or daughter of a loving God who wants the best for you?
  • Do you believe that homosexual behavior fits within God’s plan for you?
  • Do you believe that you have the ability to choose your response to any of life’s situations, including same-sex attraction?

Some people say that people are born gay and that is just the way they will always be. The truth is that sexual orientation can be fluid over a person’s lifetime. Many people report substantial changes in their same-sex attractions over time. About half of the homosexual/bisexual population will naturally (in a non-therapeutic environment) move towards heterosexuality over a lifetime. About 3% of the current heterosexual population once believed themselves to be homosexual or bisexual.

1. Determine How You Want to Respond to Your Same-Sex Attractions

The section How Do You Want to Respond to Your Same-Sex Attractions? will help you think through the decisions you may want to make.

2. Make Decisions About Same-Sex Attraction

The section Making Decisions About Same-Sex Attraction gives ideas on how to make those decisions. It suggests that you define your personal values and consider your options about how to respond to your attractions.

3. Identify the Issues You Want to Work On

The section Issues Common Among Men Who Experience Same-Sex Attraction describes emotional and psychological issues that may be relevant to you. Improvement in these issues can help you be more emotionally healthy. Select issues that apply to you and then set a plan to address them.

4. Understand Helpful Concepts

The following sections provide practical advice about some of the things you may need to do to understand and respond in healthy ways to the issues in your life.

  • Choice, Freedom, and ResponsibilityRead this section to understand that we all have the power to choose how we respond to life’s situations. Choices have consequences and our lives are the net result of all our choices. This section discusses the freedom we have to choose and the relationship between responsibility, accountability, and authority.
  • Controlling Homosexual BehaviorAlthough you have same-sex attractions, you can choose your behavior and set personal boundaries on your actions. Learn to avoid bad habits and addictions because they can compromise your power to choose. This section covers topics such as understanding your behavior, commitment, habits, addictions, compulsions, personal boundaries, temptation, sin, behavior patterns, setbacks, and specific suggestions regarding fantasy, pornography, masturbation, and homosexual behavior.
  • Appropriate Intimacy. This section describes emotional and physical intimacy and provides ideas on how to meet your needs for intimacy.
  • Spirituality. This section addresses the importance of spirituality in your efforts to resolve issues related to same-sex attraction. It discusses basic gospel principles such as faith, repentance, and forgiveness. It then discusses other gospel subjects that relate to your ability to succeed in resolving your issues.
  • Adversity. Living a righteous life does not mean that you won’t have significant struggles. A common misbelief is that if we live good lives, nothing bad will happen to us. But the truth is, hard times come to the best of people. God may not take away our problems, and he certainly will not shield us from all pain, but he will provide us perspective and strength in the midst of difficulties. This section explains the purpose, origins, and benefits of adversity, then gives suggestions on how to successfully deal with our struggles.

5. Make a Plan of Action

To make good progress on the issues listed above, you may want to develop a personal action plan considering the specific things you decide to do. See the section Plan of Action.

6. Draw on Practical Tools

  • Organizations and resources can help you understand your situation. The more you learn, the more you are exposed to ideas that may help you.
  • TherapyProfessional therapy can help you clarify your identity and make life choices that are consistent with your personal values. This section provides suggestions on choosing the right therapist and explains the therapeutic process.
  • Support Groups. Many people who experience same-sex attraction find support groups to be helpful. This section explains how they can provide understanding, acceptance, and encouragement.
  • Sports ProgramsFor some men, sports was one of the things that separated them from other boys. Participation in an adult experiential sports program can teach basic skills in a sport and provide opportunities to play the sport. Participants learn how to function on a team and have the chance to work through defensive detachment and face and resolve their fear of the sport.